Hello. I was recently denied by USNA. It is a lifelong dream of mine to attend the academy. I have a passion to serve my country as a naval officer and am not discouraged. I am already working on my application for next year. However, I wanted to know which college would be better to reapply from. I was accepted into Virginia Tech and SUNY Maritime. Which school is better? Thank you.


The best school is going to be the school that is best for you. It will not make much, if any, difference to USNA. You want to pick the school that will be the best fit you you now and long term, because you may be there for 4 years.

The two schools you are deciding between couldn't be more different. Small vs large. City vs rural. If you are in the corps of cadets at VT that is about the only similarity between the two schools.
Agreed that it probably won't matter to USNA which school you go to, but you should make plans based on as to what school you see yourself graduating from and which one provides the environment that suits you. I don't know much about SUNY Maritime, but do know about Virginia Tech, and would personally choose Virginia Tech. I would research NROTC options and how cohesive the team is, opportunities offered, and include that in your list of factors. I would strongly recommend doing NROTC in college as freshman if you plan on reappying, whether you received the scholarship or not.
I was accepted to SUNY Maritime as well, and they put me in contact with and alum via the Alumnae Ambassador Program- it's helped give me more perspective on post-graduation opportunities. Good luck with your decision, both programs are fantastic choices.


Go to the school that you feel is the best fit in case you don't get in to USNA next year. You may even find you are happy at the school and decide to continue on that path.
As far as reapplying to USNA, taking a Plebe-like schedule and getting excellent grades is probably more important that the school you attend. Also, join NROTC.

USMA 1994

Doing well in your first semester in college will add a big boost to your WCS. You will see advice about taking a plebe-like schedule but I would put out there that its most important to take a challenging schedule. Do not re-take classes just because someone says mimic a plebe schedule. If you test out of English, History and Calculus, take the next three classes that work towards your degree. Just do not replace them with Ball Room Dancing, Underwater Basket Weaving.


10-Year Member
Agree not to retake classes. However, if you place out of Calc I, take Calc II or Calc III or another math course. If you place out of Chem, take Physics. If you place out of freshman English, take another writing class.

You don't want a course load filled with psychology, criminal justice, first year of a language, women's/African-American/Native-American studies, etc. IF you want to be competitive for USNA.

Take at least a core of 3-4 plebe courses and fill the remainder of your time first semester with whatever you enjoy, including the classes I mentioned directly above. You have more flexibility second semester because by that time the die is cast (for that year at least).


5-Year Member
Day5 has it right, choose the best school that fits you, your reapplication plans, and your budget. Keep in mind that Gov. Cuomo is looking to decrease tuition for students with family incomes below $125k at SUNY schools keeping it at room and board only (also double check exactly when he plans on this occurring and what happens if you attend for a year and then go to USNA. Take plebe classes and stay busy, run for student office and make the most of your Plan B school. The nominating committee looks favorably on reapplicants, mine was recognized and commended for it. I wish you the best of luck⚓


I agree with some but not all of the advice given in this discussion. My DS is a fortunate 2nd try appointee to class of 2021. This year he is he is taking the basic core mech engineering freshman curriculum along with NROTC, club lacrosse and vice president of his dorm council. I disagree with the premise that a reapplicant should take the most challenging courses available. He could have placed out of Calc and English based on high school APs. But I don't think college credits from high school on his transcript equal college performance in "plebe like" classes to USNA. IMO a good grade in CALC I fall semester looks better to the admissions board than an average grade in CALC II. Do you think the board weights the fall GPA's for reapplicants if they place out of classes? I don't know this or anything that gets discussed at that table, just like anyone else posting on here. I have a couple classmates who are long time BGOs and they advised doing well in classes similar to plebe year academics, participate in some sort of sport/intramurals, join ROTC if available, and if possible an additional extra curricular. It worked for my DS. Another thing to consider is my DS was in a great program and had a NROTC scholarship. He was on his way to a commission as an ensign in four years. What would placing out and taking higher level classes have gained him?